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Rhetoric vs. Reality: Employer Views on Consumer-Driven Health Care

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Publication Date: July 2004

Publisher(s): Center for Studying Health System Change

Author(s): Sally Trude; Leslie Jackson Conwell

Series: Issue Brief No. 86

Topic: Health (Health care financing)

Type: Brief

Abstract:

Because of rising premiums, employers are investigating new health insurance approaches that maintain workers' broad choice of providers while raising awareness of health care costs through increased patient financial responsibility. Employers' knowledge of new health plan products, including consumer-driven health plans and tiered-provider networks, has grown considerably in recent years, according to findings from the Center for Studying Health System Change's (HSC) 2002-03 site visit to 12 nationally representative communities. But employers are concerned that consumer-driven health plans would take considerable effort to implement without much cost savings. They also are skeptical that tiered-provider networks can adequately capture both cost and quality information in a way that is understandable to patients.